The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates how collection agencies must behave while collecting debts. If debt collectors are calling friends and family members (or other third parties not liable on the account) the agencies may have violated federal law.
Determine if debt collectors are violating federal law when contacting these third parties.
Debt Collectors are allowed to contact your friends and family members if they do not know how to contact you. However, when they contact them, they are only allowed to attempt to acquire your location information. If they already know how to contact you, or if they are disclosing to these people that you owe a debt the debt collectors have violated federal law. You likely are entitled to file a law suit against the agency and force the debt collectors to pay for your legal fees in bringing the suit.
Determine which debt collector(s) are making illegal telephone calls.
To successfully sue the debt collector and get the telephone calls to stop, you'll need to determine which debt collectors are breaking the law. Ask the person that was contacted if they know what company called them. See if the person obtained a telephone number.
Document the date and contents of the calls.
You'll need to document the date and the contents of the illegal telephone calls. This can prove rather difficult if there are more than one collection agency calling your friends and family members. Visit www.fairdebthelpers.com for a collection communication log to assist you with this step. Speak to the person that was contacted and get a summary of how the communication went.
Contact the debt collector. (Optional)
This step is optional but I advise completing it. If debt collectors are contacting your friends and family members, they may state that they are doing it because they don't know how to reach you. In my opinion, this is simply not true. However, to contradict this argument, you may want to contact the specific debt collector and give them your current telephone number. While it is true that it is likely you'll start getting collection calls on that telephone number, it is beter than being embarassed when they call your friends and family members.
Determine if you have a FDCPA case.
Step #4 is, for the most part, irrelevant in determining if you have a case. Feel free to proceed to this step after Step 3. If third party debt collectors (a company that doesn't work at the company that gave you the loan) are calling your friends and family members and you believe its likely that they know how to get in touch with you it is likely a violation of the FDCPA. If third party debt collectors are disclosing to your friends and family members that you owe a deb is is likely a violation of the FDCPA.
Hire an Attorney
If the debt collectors have violated the FDCPA, you are entitled to sue them and the debt collectors have to pay your legal costs and fees incurred while suing them. Most likley a lawyer will take your case on a contingency fee, meaning you don't have to pay the attorney unless they win the law suit. For more information on the FDCPA, feel free to visit www.fairdebthelpers.com.